The process is simply that I walk to the centre of the city where many people are. Then I walk around for 10 to 15 minutes. When something in the crowd intrigues me or touches me, I decide that will be the theme of the day. Then I start photographing …
For his Multistory commission, The Street and Modern Life, Hans Eijkelboom turned his lens to the area surrounding the Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham, between July 2013 and September 2014.
To the right, you can see Hans’ book presented as a series of moving images that capture the feeling of walking along the high street – the film follows seamlessly the pages of the publication. The result is a scrolling tapestry of shoppers, structured around visual themes identified by Hans such as gestures, clothes or accessories. The work celebrates the city’s social and cultural diversity but also suggests the predictable conformity inherent in consumer ‘freedoms’, that could be seen to be driven by commercial and corporate interests.
We are delighted that Hans’ work was launched and screened at the Gas Hall (BM&AG) as part of Flatpack Film Festival in April 2016, where Hans also talked about his work during an ‘in conversation’ event. it was also shown as part of Strange and Familiar at The Barbican from 16 March to 19 June, 2016. This major exhibition, curated by Martin Parr, considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK. The exhibition is at Manchester Art Gallery from 25 November 2016 to 29 May, 2017
Hans’ photographic work explores the construction of identity through clothing and personal appearance and, in turn, the relationship between individual and social identities in an increasingly globalised culture.
The photographs are the most recent addition to Hans’ ongoing series of ‘Photo Notes’ that was recently brought together and published as People of the Twenty First Century and which includes work made in Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Shanghai.
Born in 1959, Hans Eijkelboom has exhibited and published his artwork extensively throughout Europe. He is an artist that is inspired by the world around him, using photography as a way of recording what he sees.